Hello TRUTH (WorkZone)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
"Nick Choate, a spokesman for Stupak, said 52 letters were sent late Monday to the nation's largest health insurers, those with $2 billion or more in annual premiums. He said letters were not sent to other industry groups, some of which have been airing television advertising in support of Obama's call for legislation."
Letters to 52 (non-supportive) Ins. Co.s not to supportive ones. Smacks of coercive behavior?
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
1981 Reagan Inauguration Speech: (referring to Arlington Memorial Cemetery)
Under one such marker lies a young man--Martin Treptow--who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire. We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, "My Pledge," he had written these words:
"America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."
[Comment: This is a war of erosion--the erosion of America.]
“We the People” are being divided . . . and conquered. Dismantled . . . piece by piece. We must stop it; we must preserve our Nation and protect the future of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We have no choice but to take back that which is ours so that we may give a better circumstance to the next generations.
The question is HOW?
My thoughts are we need to vote out incompetence, ambition, corruption, cronyism, and disable the PACs that make it possible for the creeping takeover of OUR COUNTRY. It will take decades to remove the CRAP-O-CONGRESS. The sooner we get to it; the sooner we will bring back what is left of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The men (and yes, women) who fought so bravely for our country would take up their positions again to fight the Rush to Obscurity, and Dismantling of Our Freedoms and of Our Country. The Heroes have fought again and again to preserve our Nation, to promote Freedom for US and others. These Heroes would be APPALLED to see what has been happening! They would be stunned to see this country and the direction it is headed—as we are stunned to see dominoes fall before our very eyes.
The disruption nears completion. We need to stand up, we must stem the tide of disruptive progress in the wrong direction. We didn’t see the steam-roller movement; and now, we have to work swiftly to change direction.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
The continuing problem of the Weegurz cannot be resolved by returning them to China. Although China demanded their return, fear of torture has prevented the repatriation solution.
The solution is to release them in Afghanistan. The Weegurz had admitted to weapons training in Afghanistan. Give them a choice—release in Afghanistan or remain in custody. Decide as a group, all or nothing.
If release in Afghanistan is the choice, they must agree to the conditions: DNA, fingerprints, full-body photos, x-rays, and a small tattoo (whatever necessary for recognition purposes.) They can choose to blend into a population anywhere in the world; but, if they attempt to engage in activities against the United States, they will be shot upon capture and identification..
Furnish them with money, food, water—pre-agreed necessities. Release them in as safe an area as possible. The Weegurz can make their way into a better life, or return to the fight knowing the penalty.
It’s up to the Weegurz to determine their own future.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Specter and Franken will complete the change to the one-party system. The change will make opposition completely ineffective. Whether you agree (or disagree) with a particular issue, the Democrats will do as they please and we will live with the results.
We have lost the balance; there will be a price. Big Government is getting bigger, and we are getting smaller. A few more speech laws and our voices will be silenced.
We are only one generation away . . . OR, are we that generation?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Senator Arlen Specter has switched parties. CNN’s interview listed him as Arlen Specter (D). He announced his decision to become a Democrat, today.
Apparently, Specter has run out of Republican friends and will now sample the Democrats.
This action can be considered a betrayal of the voters who wished to have some small semblance of balance in the Senate. Specter represents himself—a constituency of one. He should have retired.
This is a betrayal of the people—for perks and power. .
Monday, April 27, 2009
In a petition to Keith Olberman, MSNBC:
“While General Electric, the parent-company of your MSNBC network, was negotiating a $126 billion taxpayer-funded bailout, you signed a new contract raising your salary from $4 million to $7.5 million annually. You have used your show as a platform to call for the resignation of corporate executives accepting excessive bonuses on the backs of taxpayers who are picking up the tab for these atrocious bailouts, yet you yourself have no problem engaging in the same "class economic rape" that you accuse them of.”
Olberman works for MSNBC, controlled by NBC; NBC owned by GE. We understand pressure was applied not for balance, but to support Obama. What did GE get? What will GE get? Bailout, insured LOAN, or BIG CONTRACTS? ]
Sunday, April 26, 2009
When I heard the comment about Japanese executed for waterboarding it didn’t seem accurate. There had to be additional acts. So, I looked around and found this :
“Saturday, April 25, 2009
Sorry, Paul Begala — You're Still Wrong [Mark Hemingway]
Over at Huffington Post, Paul Begala has responded to my post from a few days ago questioning his claim the the U.S. executed Japanese war criminals for waterboarding — "Yes, National Review, We Did Execute Japanese for Waterboarding."
Given that a number of the responses I've received have been less than fair, Begala's response is a model of civilized debate and I appreciate that he mounted a factual response.
Alas, he's still wrong.
But first, a necessary clarification. I had assumed that Begala had sourced his claim that the U.S. executed Japanese war criminals to Ted Kennedy, since that was the only popular mention I could find of someone citing a Japanese war criminal by name being punished for the specific crime of waterboarding. Begala says that his claim stems from this statement from John McCain:
Following World War II war crime trials were convened. The Japanese were tried and convicted and hung for war crimes committed against American POWs. Among those charges for which they were convicted was waterboarding.
What McCain is saying is accurate. However, McCain's third sentence here doesn't necessarily follow the second. Japanese war criminals were convicted for crimes against U.S. POWs — including waterboarding. But, unlike Begala, McCain doesn't go so far as to say they were executed for waterboarding. Here's what Begala actually said:
Our country executed Japanese soldiers who waterboarded American POWs. We executed them for the same for the same crime we are now committing ourselves.
At the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, a.k.a. Tokyo Trials, that Begala says McCain is referring to, only seven Japanese war criminals were executed. Every one of them was convicted of either being complicit in or directly comitting atrocities and murder on a grand scale.
During Hirota's second tenure as foreign minister, late in 1937, Japanese forces marched into Nanking. Thousands of innocent civilians were buried alive, used as targets for bayonet practice, shot in large groups and thrown into the Yangtze River. Rampant rapes (and gang rapes) of women ranging from age seven to over seventy were reported. The international community estimated that within the six weeks of the Massacre, 20,000 women were raped, many of them subsequently murdered or mutilated; and over 300,000 people were killed, often with the most inhumane brutality.While Hirota was not in charge of the army units that invaded Nanjing, he was well informed about the massacre. The international community had filed many protests to the Japanese Embassy. Bates, an American professor of history at the University of Nanking during the Japanese occupation, provided evidence that the protests were forwarded to Tokyo and were discussed in great detail between Japanese officials and the U.S. ambassador in Tokyo.
Itagaki was moreover responsible for the supply of food and medical care to prisoners of war and civilian internees, in particular on various Indonesian islands during the last months of the war. It has been established that, over that period, thousands of people died due to lack of food or adequate care, while the camp guards suffered no undue hardship.
Kenji Dohihara voted in favour of the attack on Pearl Harbour ... He commanded the Army of the 7th Region, which includes parts of Malaysia and the islands of Sumatra, Java and Borneo in Indonesia. In this capacity, he was responsible for supplying food and medicines to not only the Japanese troops, but also to prisoners of war.
It is alleged that in carrying out his functions, Kimura allegedly violated the laws and customs of war in approving the use of prisoners of war for hazardous work, from which they are usually prohibited. They were forced to work in very dangerous conditions and several thousands died. Heitaro Kimura allegedly gave the order and approved the use of prisoners of war for the construction of the railway between Burma and the Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand). In addition, he did not take the necessary disciplinary measures to prevent or to punish the commission of atrocities by his troops.
His troops took Nanking on 13 December 1937. The Chinese army had evacuated the city just before it was taken. The ensuing occupation was therefore that of a defenceless city. The Japanese troops nevertheless carried out unspeakable atrocities: massacre, rape, pillaging and destruction were routinely committed. During a six to seven week period, more than 100’000 civilians were killed and thousands of women raped. Against this backdrop, Matsui marched triumphantly into Nanking on 17 December 1937 and remained there for several days.
Moreover, as an officer serving under General Matsui between November 1937 and July 1938, he was charged with war crimes for his participation in the atrocities committed at Nanking.
The seventh Japanese war criminal to be hanged was Hideki Tojo, and I presume his reputation precedes him. But it seems pretty clear we executed these men for charges that far surpass concerns about waterboarding.
Now it does appear that various forms of torture were a consideration in some of these cases that resulted in death sentences at the Tokyo Trials. Media Matters marshals some evidence to that effect, but again waterboarding was presented as just one of several types of torture, many of which appear to be more severe. (Media Matters also appears to cavalierly lump all forms of Japanese water torture together and, say, forced ingestion of water — an execution method centuries ago — is obviously very different from waterboarding.) This is why McCain appears to be accurate when he says waterboarding is "among the charges" and Begala is wrong to suggest it's the reason why the death sentences were handed down. There are examples of war criminals convicted of waterboarding, even alongside convictions for a number of harsh forms of torture, who were not put to death.
In no way, shape or form could waterboarding be said to have been the predominate reason any one of these people were hanged. Begala suggesting people at the Tokyo Trials were hanged for waterboarding is akin to noting that Charles Manson is guilty of trespassing on Roman Polanski's home and then insisting that's the reason he got a death sentence. (Not that I'm suggesting trespassing and waterboarding are equivalent crimes; I'm just making a logical point.)
Ultimately, even evidence Begala cites to defend himself doesn't validate his charge. It does validate McCain's statement, which Begala doesn't seem to recognize as materially different the one he made. Then again, while the PolitiFact article Begala references doesn't prove his claim — it's otherwise clear as mud on the distinctions and specific crimes involved.
Again, to be clear: I am not trying to suggest that waterboarding isn't torture. Those opposed to waterboarding should be content to argue the indisputable fact that it was considered a crime as practiced by the Japanese. But Begala's insistence that Japanese war criminals were executed for waterboarding just does not appear to be true.
Now shifting gears a bit, let me add one final bit about waterboarding. In my discussion of waterboarding from a few days ago, I wrote:
In waterboarding as it is practiced by the U.S., cellophane or cloth is placed over the subject's mouth to keep water out of nose and mouth. Asano was pouring water directly into the mouths and noses of subjects which is considerably more harsh and dangerous.
A reader notes that a cloth barrier, doesn't necessarily prevent watter from going into the mouth and nose as described in the Stephen J. Bradbury memo:
Either in the normal application, or where countermeasures are used, we understand that water may enter — and may accumulate in — the detainee’s mouth and nasal cavity, preventing him from breathing. In addition, you have indicated that the detainee as a countermeasure may swallow water, possibly in significant quantities.
Obviously, a cellophane barrier would keep water out altogether and I think a cloth barrier is probably still better than none. But the reader makes a fair point about a cloth not necessarily keeping water out of the nose and mouth, and is certainly a distinction worth noting if you're trying to decide how severe the practice is.
04/25 11:26 AM Share
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